Sacred Heart of Jesus
Munising, Michigan
Father Christopher Gardiner
 

Centering Prayer

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Centering prayer, an ancient method, is based on the conviction that in our deepest self we can find God. In this prayer we open our minds and hearts to the presence of God within us. God calls us to friendship. In this kind of prayer we let go of the things that get in the way of our friendship with God. We wait for God as we would wait for a friend. It takes time to become intimate friends. Our relationship with God takes time, too. In Centering prayer we take time to just be with God, realizing that God is beyond all human thoughts, feelings and concepts. In this kind of prayer we do not use thoughts or words. Rather, we let go of any thoughts or feelings when they come to mind so we can make a space for God.

Centering prayer can be practiced alone or with others. The following steps will help you to pray in this way.

Choose a quiet space where you can be comfortable and where you can be uninterrupted and uninhibited.

It can be helpful to have a stop watch or timer handy so you can pray without watching the clock or your watch. You might want to darken the room and light a candle. These can cut down distractions and help you to focus.

Once you are comfortable and the candle is lit, take a few deep breaths and relax. Then set the timer or stop watch for twenty minutes. Close your eyes and recall your desire to just be in God's presence.

When thoughts or feelings come to mind, let them go. Do not give into them or allow them to take you away from God's presence.

Distractions will come, that is normal. Think of this kind of prayer as the prayer of "letting go." Don't be surprised if you spend the whole prayer period letting go of thoughts and feelings.

Over time you will experience something happening in your life – a new sense of peace, a new awareness of God's great love for you.

Be patient! Prayer takes practice. When the time is up, slowly come back to the here and now.

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